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Southwestern Orzo Salad

Southwestern Orzo Salad

This southwest orzo salad is a robust, bean-loaded side dish that is perfect for summer.

Cookouts, barbecues, and family gatherings are some of the things we love most about summer. Long summer days spent with those we love, enjoying burgers on the grill and ice-cold drinks is our idea of time well spent. This Southwestern Bean and Orzo Salad is a perfect summer side dish for grilled chicken, fajitas, burgers, or just about anything.

This recipe came to me one morning when I realized that the group at work had planned a food day, which means everyone brings in a side dish or dessert. Now in my group we seem to end up with about 70% desserts and numerous varieties of dips and snacks. I happened to wake up and realized that I had to prepare something. I started to peruse the cabinets and came across a few cans of beans, and a can of green chilies. My mind started racing, trying to think of what to make. I then noticed some orzo and began to create this Southwestern Bean & Orzo Salad. The result turned out to be one amazing mistake.

Since that day, I have made this Bean and Orzo Salad several times. I just can’t get enough of it. On one occasion Jackie wanted to stop at Chipotle for dinner, but I talked her into staying in. We grilled up some chicken, topped the Bean & Orzo salad, and added some cheese and sour cream; it is now one of our favorite weeknight meals. This is truly a versatile dish that can be served both warm or cold.

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Southwestern Orzo Salad

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  • Author: Keith Jackie
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x


  • 1 smaill can each of pinto beans (red beans and black beans)
  • 1 C cooked orzo pasta
  • 1 can of diced green chillies (about ½ C)
  • ½ C diced fresh peppers
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregeno
  • 3/4 C fresh cilantro chopped


  1. Open all beans. Drain in colander and transfer to mixing bowl.
  2. Add cooked pasta, juice of 1 lime and remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.
  3. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side


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